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UN Envoy Waffles On Chemical Weapons Use In Syria

As US forces prepare a punitive strike on the Assad regime over alleged chemical weapons use, the United Nations envoy refused to state whether sarin gas was used. Instead the UN envoy merely stated some chemical “substance” was involved.

Evidence suggests that some kind of chemical “substance” was used in Syria that may have killed more than 1,000 people, but any military strike in response must first gain U.N. Security Council approval, the U.N.’s special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said Wednesday….

“With what has happened on the 21st of August last week, it does seem that some kind of substance was used that killed a lot of people: hundreds, definitely more than a hundred, some people say 300, some people say 600, maybe 1,000, maybe more than 1,000 people,” Brahimi said.

More than 100, maybe more than a 1000? Even the people on the ground don’t know let alone pontificating politicians in Washington.

Of course, Syria is not a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention. Even if the Assad regime did use prohibited weapons under the convention like sarin they would not be breaking international law. While that fact gives the Assad regime no moral immunity it would be another complicating factor in getting a UN resolution to authorize military force besides veto-wielding Russia and China’s opposition to a US military strike. While President Obama feels the need to not look like a fool by letting Assad cross his “red line” he is under no obligation legally.

What’s more, according to one former congressman, Obama may end up effectively acting as Al Qaeda’s air force.

Airstrikes on Syria would turn the U.S. military into “al Qaeda’s air force,” former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) told The Hill. The outspoken anti-war activist said any such action would plunge the United States into another war in the Middle East and embolden Islamist militants fighting Bashar Assad’s regime.

“So what, we’re about to become Al Qaeda’s air force now?” Kucinich said. “This is a very, very serious matter that has broad implications internationally. And to try to minimize it by saying we’re just going to have a ‘targeted strike’ — that’s an act of war. It’s not anything to be trifled with.”

The general consensus by analysts seems to be that at one point there was a moderate, more secular opposition in Syria. Whether they are all dead or have been radicalized is unknown . What is known is that the forces in control of rebel forces today are linked strongly to Al Qaeda. Destroy the Assad regime, or what’s left of it, and the power vacuum brings forces to power in Syria that the US government is technically still at war with.

Will Obama have to drone strike himself?

CommunityThe Bullpen

UN Envoy Waffles On Chemical Weapons Use In Syria

As US forces prepare a punitive strike on the Assad regime over alleged chemical weapons use, the United Nations envoy refused to state whether  sarin gas was used. Instead the UN envoy merely stated some chemical “substance” was involved.

Evidence suggests that some kind of chemical “substance” was used in Syria that may have killed more than 1,000 people, but any military strike in response must first gain U.N. Security Council approval, the U.N.’s special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said Wednesday….

“With what has happened on the 21st of August last week, it does seem that some kind of substance was used that killed a lot of people: hundreds, definitely more than a hundred, some people say 300, some people say 600, maybe 1,000, maybe more than 1,000 people,” Brahimi said.

More than 100, maybe more than a 1000? Even the people on the ground don’t know let alone pontificating politicians in Washington.

Of course, Syria is not a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention anyway so even if the Assad regime did use prohibited weapons under the convention like sarin they would not be breaking international law. While that fact gives the Assad regime no moral immunity it would be another complicating factor in getting a UN resolution to authorize military force besides veto-wielding Russia and China’s opposition to a US military strike. So while President Obama feels the need to not look like a fool by letting Assad cross his “red line” he is under no obligation legally.

What’s more, according to one former congressman, Obama may end up effectively acting as Al Qaeda’s air force.

Airstrikes on Syria would turn the U.S. military into “al Qaeda’s air force,” former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) told The Hill. The outspoken anti-war activist said any such action would plunge the United States into another war in the Middle East and embolden Islamist militants fighting Bashar Assad’s regime.

“So what, we’re about to become Al Qaeda’s air force now?” Kucinich said. “This is a very, very serious matter that has broad implications internationally. And to try to minimize it by saying we’re just going to have a ‘targeted strike’ — that’s an act of war. It’s not anything to be trifled with.”

The general consensus by analysts seems to be that at one point there was a moderate, more secular opposition in Syria. Whether they are all dead or have been radicalized is unknown . What is known is that the forces in control of rebel forces today are linked strongly to Al Qaeda. Destroy the Assad regime, or what’s left of it, and the power vacuum brings forces to power in Syria that the US government is technically still at war with.

Will Obama have to drone strike himself?

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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